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Philip Knowsley's page

567 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Seerow wrote:
Any fun pranks you've used in your games?

Ahhh - a thread you haven't seen...

No should look - there is a whole thread with HEAPS of ideas on
this very topic.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dan, Halfling Mime Lawyer wrote:
pennywit wrote:
Queen Moragan wrote:

That's why I really think you need to rein in your players, otherwise there won't be any fun in it for anyone. Just hit them with 13 Months of Plagues to remove the excess.

#1 A Plague of Dragons .....

#2 A Plague of Lawyers

#3 A Plague of Mimes

#4 A Plague of Halflings

#5 a Plague of Halfling Mime Lawyers.

Flips off Pennywit

Careful - he's half-dragon!

Also - see if you can get hold of a copy of 'Gods & Magic'.
That book can give you a run down of who gets along & who hates who... :)

Norin d'orien wrote:

@P.Knowsley: Kundal is something G. is definitely going to speak about, still, unless i make them both appear at the same time in the city, Grigori should appear the next time they get back to town.

...or is making them appear togheter exactly what you suggested..?


Or at least, at the same time.

I presented both to my players as ongoing events that had started happening
whilst they were out of town. They were in fact completely unrelated in my
story, but there's no reason why they couldn't be related in yours...
e.g. K is brought along by G & released in order to cause trouble which he can
then stir along with his particular talent set...
(It took my PCs a little bit to figure out that they were unrelated...)

As for the last one with Malgorzata - just because of the way things ran in my
game - that got introduced at the very end of the 2nd book, & it was something
that came up at a council meeting (Because I was out of options.)

Up to you - but feel free to play around with how things are introduced...

Also - why not combine some of these 'AP extras'...?
e.g. you could quite happily combine Kundal & Grigory & have Kundal be one of
the things that Grigory harps on about...

You could quite happily combine any of the three.

If you're looking at abbreviating the tomb, you can chuck out the bit around
saving Xamanthe altogether. I would also perhaps limit the tomb to the 'ground'
floor being mostly empty - perhaps spookily so, with lots of evidence of recent
undead activity...

Also - you can get rid of the huge water elementals, as whilst they are a battle
they won't add anything thematically to what you seem to be going,
from what I've read of your game - they'll be WAY to easy for your PCs.

Then just add in thematic components from your game to populate the tomb. (i.e.
potentially get rid of any other guardians or ex-Warnhold residents & swap in
zombies/wampires/wampire spawn etc.

I'd like to point out that just because they're in the kingdom, doesn't mean
that they're 100% of the time in town.
Depending on how many towns your players have, those events could happen in
other towns...or, be reported by one PC who lives in that town, to the others
who live in different places. (My player's characters live in a variety of
places 7& styles in their kingdom.)

Also depends which rules you're using. The Ultimate Rulership ones have rules
for hiring adventurers/explorers on your behalf I believe.
If your players are more keen to play from their homeland - then, if it's not
too much hassle, build events around that & go with it.

Name: Elensil Valandar
Race: Half-elf
Classes/levels: Wiz3/Clr3/MysTh3
Adventure: Varnhold Vanishing
Location: Vor Dakai's Throne room
Catalyst: An dominated party Arcanist...& one too many fireballs...
The Gory Details: The party reached the throne room & Simile (the arcanist) got the
highest init. Being curious (- despite a friendly warning from their ever-loving GM) &
wanting to identify her enemy, she used an ability to 'port deep into the room
to get a decent look...sigh...

First spell cast by Dekai was Dominate Person, which Simile failed...sigh...

Per an excellent idea from someone else on these boards, the command given was to
'teach these vermin what it is to annoy Dekai'.

In the 1st round Simile used a negative energy ray against Bremen, the party fighter,
but he'd been buffed against just such attacks... So after that, Simile started
using her fireballs...for 3 rounds in a row...into a room with all 4 of the other
party members - who were being held at bay Var Gakal, Vor Dekai's champion.

Elensil was put into negatives, & partially healed back up, FyreAmber (ranger)
was put into negatives & partially healed back up, Bremen & Orestil (druid) were
also sorely toasted...& partially healed back up... ;-p
The fireballs collectively did over 100Hp (not counting saves), & the last one
was easily enough to kill brave Elensil - who was near the front & channeling
as if his life depended on it.

(Luckily the player had enough Hero points to save him from being complete toast.)

We left our mighty heroes during a strategic withdrawal, with next session promising
more pain & mayhem.

Oh & by the way - anybody considering using the Graveknight posted earlier...
Graveknight armour must be heavy, but the one's statted up only have Breastplate...

Am just about to run the PCs encounter with the big V tomorrow night & have
been thinking of ways to make it memorable.

One of the cool (well, I think so) ideas I've had is to make V a female - liches
are always male for some reason... Why?

I'm using a Graveknight template on top of a dread zombie cyclops as a stand-in
for an atrophied 'champion' for her - hey, if she's atrophied, why wouldn't her
champion be also...

As part of this, & to make the Cyclops culture stand out a little more than just
one more baddie with a weird name, I've also decided that Vordakai isn't her
proper name.

You see, as with many other things, the name has been mis-remembered down through
the's actually a bastardisation of her name & ancient title.
I'm going to have 'Vor' be her title, and her name be 'Dakai'...

This will be disclosed in her little BBEG speech, as follows: -
(Note: still working on the actual wording, but something similar...)

A dry, husking voice sounds out, echoes bouncing around the darkness of the chamber.

Vordekai wrote:

So - pathetic mortals once again seek to invade the realm of Dakai, kill my retainers & steal my belongings.

I have seen your coming, I have watched you through my raven, Horagnamon, until you caused his demise.

You…fools. Vermin who seek to slay me and defile the sanctity of my demesne. One who has existed for 10,000 years!

In truth though, I am lucky - I hunger for more knowledge of this world I now inhabit. One which is vastly different to that I left behind eons ago.

And so, to that end, it is now yours to let me sample of your minds for the knowledge I so desire. Perhaps, just perhaps, yours will not be full of the petty squabbles of these peasants of Varn.

- Geral, you are my Var
- Yes, my Vor
- Kill them…& bring me their bodies
- Yes, my Vor

Hiya, long time no see! :)
From my point of view - I'd prefer purely URule and UCam compatible...
However I ain't the one doing all the hard go with what you think is best!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
I love Kingmaker. Its a great AP. But I would agree with Christopher Woldridge. It is an open-ended AP. So for a group of combat-focused, younger players, I would also agree with Mummy's Mask, Shattered Star or possibly Giantslayer are better choices. The kingdom part of Kingmaker has a decent amount of paperwork involved and beyond micromanaging the building of your kingdom, there is not a whole lot of actual rulership in the AP.

Anything Dale says = +1. ;-p

However - I would also add that yes, KM is a great is A LOT of work for
the GM to make it feel like an open world where the PCs actions can & do have
real consequences.
If you are an inexperienced GM & your group are also inexperienced...I wouldn't
run KM this time around. It is definitely not A to B...

That said - I love it. :) But I've been gaming for 35 years or so, & my
players are mostly (we do have a couple of newbies in the 6) experienced.

Rathendar wrote:
Ohh, i think i have that book squirreled away in my downloads. Thanks i'll take a look.

Definitely a cool book - I bought it!

However - again, just a word of caution - if you're using the original
AP ruleset - JBE's add-ons are just that - add-ons to the original rules.

They were mostly replaced by UC & UR...

In saying that though - I'm sure there's plenty of usable stuff...I just
haven't looked for AGES! ;-p

Rathendar wrote:
Since the Lots represent multiple buildings of a type, i wonder if things like 'Butcher' etc would be too small in scale to be needed as an improvement.

Hiya, just a quick comment - like your thoughts, but need to point out

that the first incarnation of the rules did indeed have all sorts of
different kinds of buildings, but the devs pulled back on this & they
are now all just called 'shop' or something similar...

I guess all I'm suggesting is 'call it what you will, but currently a
single name covers a multitude'... :)
Different name - same stats... You can do that for heaps of buildings &
over the past few years there have been multiple threads discussing that

Cheers & looking forward to what you come up with.

Ditto - I had a similar, but MUCH lesser version...

Name: Elunir
Race: male Human
Classes/levels: Alchemist 8th
Adventure: Varnhold Vanishing
Location: Flooded room
Catalyst: Staying around to help a fallen comrade

After telling the party I was going to kill them all - I actually felt a bit bad about this one...
(It was the 3rd session which the player had his new PC, after the old one left the party.)

As the room started to fill with water, the party wizard was felled by the large eel.
Not wanting Elensil to drown, Elunir held his head above water, whilst trying to figure out
what to do about the 2 dread zombie cyclops which had suddenly appeared...

As the zombies moved in to melee range, they both (pure bad luck roll of the dice to see
who was attacked) decided that Elunir looked like a good target.
Using their 'flash of insight' they both attempted a crit - both succeeded...
50 something & 30 something points of damage later, Elunir was decapitated & then split in half.


In the actual KM kingdom building rules, there aren't any for the situation
you're trying to describe.

There are a separate set of rules in the Campaign(?) guide, which you will need
to run separately from the kingdom building per se.

(well - at least I think so, as I haven't read all of the rule sets for a while,
so it may have crept in there somewhere...
If so - disregard my comments above.)

Happy hunting.


Also - be sure to read through the threads specific to each book!
I have post-it notes all the way through my books because kind souls on these
boards posted updated/correct stats.

EDIT: - Ooops - I think that's what Geeky meant in his above post...

That is very cool - but what of Ranalc?
I assume from the story that he replaces the big V, but as an undead?
I guess not, as that would also be a travesty in Pharasma's eyes...
I'm eager to hear please! :)

laraqua wrote:

Love the work! Amazing, amazing, amazing! I have noticed, though, that the city settlements start at village ratings rather than hamlet ratings? Is that intentional? Also I can't find where to give the villages their own alignment rating?

Hi Iaraqua,

I agree with you - Chemlak (& others, as he'd never claim sole coolness
for this project) has done a GREAT job! :)

Don't know about the hamlet vs village thing, well, except perhaps for
the fact that hamlets are a population of 21-60, & a general minimum
population for a settlement improvement you're building using the
spreadsheet is 250...automatically putting it into 'village' status.

I'd suggest that (at the moment anyway) there are no individual alignments...
This is a Kingdom building tool, which is a different mechanic than what
has been offered up for other settlements...which can have their own alignments,
settlement modifiers etc.

The 2 can work together, but they need a bit of work to mesh properly.
To do that, you'd need to assign them & track them individually. No
idea if Chemlak is working on this, but I'd suggest that if he is,
it may be behind other priorities he has & would take some time...

Norin d'orien wrote:
Thanks for the answer! What do you think of the idea of making vacancy count at a later point?

Also - instead of fully fledged 'kingdom' positions, you might like to consider

something like a 'council of elders'...

Even a small village might have a variety of people it turns to for advice etc.
Why not have people take up roles which give the same benefits, but are
not the specific roles in the rules?

Then, when the thorp grows big enough, the council can be formalised...

Also, remember that just because a book says 'xyz' about how the fire works...
you can justify a 'lesser' fire because 'insert reason here'.

What I'm trying to say is that - you don't have to use can modify them
because - say - the woods are wet & aren't burning as well as a nice dry forest
fire might... Or, you mention the party has fey friends, well, those same fey
might make things a bit easier for the party because they don't like having their
home burnt down... Or, the wind isn't very strong, so the fire only progresses
at 'xy'ft per round instead of 130...

Get creative. So long as it's fun - your players won't care what some book says.

fictionfan wrote:
I know. I just want an explanation to remain constant.

Yeah - apologies, I was in a facetious mood after being ill for the weekend... :(

I'm sure the dudes who wrote the AP never bothered to actually go & visit
the big V every few decades to see if he'd woken up & done some study...
It'd just be too darn scary for your normal gamer dude.

That being the case they probably wrote 'asleep for thousands of years' because
it was just easier that way...

magispitt wrote:

I'm not sure what to do about xp...

...because of this possibly varying party size, I'm unsure how to challenge them.

Okay - first things first.

Do away with XP all together!
Level the PCs up as appropriate, & not via any particular XP track.
There are a lot of GMs on this board who are doing the same - myself included.
This means that all PCs will be the same level - unless you have some reason
to not want someone to be able to foot it with the rest of the players.

It also means that you decide when they level up (there are hints on this
forum) and you don't need to keep track with XP.

Secondly - use the 6 player conversion posted elsewhere on the forum, and
then also just cut & paste opponents/Hp etc for the amount of players you have.
I have between 3 & 6. If my players don't know what is behind door A,
it doesn't matter how many turn up. If 3 turn up, there are 2 manticores,
but if 6 turn up there are 3 manticores, a huge water elemental, & the
terrain just got a whole lot harder.
Use your imagination & don't let yourself be sold into any 'fixed' plan
for the encounter...until they get there.

Possibly the hardest challenge you will have is making sure your PCs
are all at appropriate WBL...

Good luck.

pennywit wrote:
Maybe Briar is like Woody Allen ...

Oh god - please noooooo! ;-p

Yup,'s not a chainmail bra at most other fantasy art
geek's wet-dream pictures...

Hiya QM - I agree with you I work in kilos, so this whole pounds
deal really doesn't cut it with me anyway... ;-p

But we are talking about the Stag Lord's Armour - so that makes the cut for your
'magical' component. (Even though, personally, I don't think that should make
a difference, unless it's part of the enchantment. In my eyes, the weight is the
weight, so even magical items should be heavier than as listed.)

In various lists of equipment 'cloaks' are listed @ 1 lb - however I'd argue
that these aren't 'heavy' cloaks. I'd probably go with 3 or 4 myself. (Cold
weather outfit comes in at 7 lbs, so the cloak would only be half of that max.)

PFSRD lists a kilt (clothing from UE) @ 1 lb - it doesn't have to be an armoured
kilt... (Although - I agree, for verisimilitude - it should be. However, an
armoured kilt is 10 lbs all by itself - so that would start to seem to put old
Staggy's armour right up there anyway...)

Similarly gloves are listed, not gauntlets, and interestingly most magical sets
of gloves are listed at a weight of 0, with a few at 1 lb.

Most sets of boots (from memory) are listed at 2 lbs.

So - adding up a minimum reasonable weight gives, 3 + 1 + 0 + 2 = 6lbs.
Personally - I think that's too light, but by the same token - if you use
an armoured kilt as part of the mix, it's heavier than normal armour...
I'd probably go with 4 + 1 + 1 + 2 = 8, if you're trying to get it down as low
as possible - after all, the player made the CHOICE (more than likely) to have
a low STR - so TOUGH when they complain that they can't wear good armour!

Go with what you think - your game, you know how they got their STR, you know
what will work for your group. ;-p

T.A.U. wrote:
I was trying to see if there is an official way to estimate it's weight in a proper way since
this suit consists of a heavy cloak, gloves, kilt, and boots, but leaves his chest bare

You're welcome.

I think you can find weights for all of those items in various forms in
any equipment list - so why not just add said 'heavy cloak, gloves, kilt,
and boots' up & bingo bango - you have a weight... :)
(Kilt can be anything from an armoured kilt through to just a piece of
clothing, so you can play around with that figure a 'little' bit.)

And - even if they aren't in league with Rogarvia, why can't said house have
exactly the same, but called something different...

mcv, it might help to think about it this way: -

Farms are a terrain improvement for a hex. Like buildings in a town - it isn't
only 1 farm - it's many occupying that hex.
You can't build another 'farm', because you've already set aside the WHOLE hex
for farming...

Magic items from 'slots' achieve 2 things in my mind - yes, your PCs can buy
them...BUT they also add a bit of fun to your kingdom. The players might know
exactly what they want to buy, & order them from craftsmen etc, but the fun
comes from those exotic items which pop up every so often that the players
didn't know they wanted...but now they do...oh so badly... ;-p

T.A.U. wrote:
Is there a stated weight for the Stag Lord's special +1 leather armor? If not, how would you estimate it's weight?

There isn't, but I'd suggest you can go about it 2 ways: -

1. treat it exactly the same as normal armour... or
2. if you want to give you PC a small boon, reduce the weight by a few
pounds to make it different & special. (I wouldn't personally go lower
than 10lbs total, but it's up to you.)

Okay - see if you can get access to the Ultimate Campaign book - I think that's
what it's called. (You can access online - I forget where.)
They have a way better set of rules - something in there may help.

You've probably already figured to dump everything you can into stability, but
without knowing which ruleset you're using, the replies here will likely only
be generic.

However - that said, if you're that close, there's not a lot you can do 'in-game'.
Not nothing, but not a lot.

What you need to do is prepare for the worst & what you'll do AFTER your kingdom
falls into anarchy. i.e. what will you do to clean up the mess you caused. :(
Of course, preparing for the worst isn't the same as giving up! So: -

It may also pay to speak out of game to your GM & see what can be arranged.
They have no stake in seeing you fail - unless it falls into some evil GM scheme
they have going...
You could ask for outside assistance, which will likely come at a cost. e.g.
Brevoy, or a church of something or other might like to step in & help...

Re your 'Defend the Sanctuary!!' piece.
You say that only 1 of the PCs lives there, that means that the others will
have to come from somewhere to help... :)

Why not have them come across other 'obstacles' at which point they have to make
hard choices. You can either have them all in 1 group, or if you wanna get
creative, singly or in pairs...

You're racing to the temple & you have possibly 10(?) rounds to get there before
the undead overrun the defences.
But wait, that building there is on fire & there are people on the top floor,
oh & look...just around the street corner there is a small group of skeletons
setting fire to those shops...oh look - that child is fleeing in the midst of
the chaos...etc etc etc.

:) Have fun.

BigCoffee wrote:
I do think I'l have Armag up and leave, and Zorek will end his term and the cave will close. Loss of loot and current exp.

And when the players go back - telegraph some of what they missed out...

Show that until recently the place was inhabited. Leave clues about the
transformation that took place, have Zorek's journal left behind, aged
writings carved into the wall speak of Armag's final test & how hard it
shall be...& leave evidence that it's been passed...

If you structure it right, your players will have a facepalm moment when
they realise that they LET this's their fault...they could have
stopped it if they'd only just been in time... Heh heh heh.

BooYah to you all!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I ran the Kankerata Run last week. I'd like to make the following comments: -
1. Ok - cheers Dudemeister - players enjoyed it... :)
2. In order for me to decide on who won if things got close, I decided upon the following: -

a. Each segment of the chase took 1 minute - otherwise it would just be silly short. Each check therefore was also for 1 min.

b. Because each part was for 1 min, competitors could do multiple things within each segment. e.g. heal, leave blood on the stones etc.

c. I counted the number of extra actions they took, and this number was what finally decided winners etc. So - touching a stone = 1 action, healing = 1 action, failing a skill check = 1 action, casting a spell...yeah, you get it... etc.

d. On top of this, all centaurs move faster than PCs generally, so each segment they 'scrub' off 1 action - except for 'compulsories' like touching a stone. Any PC who uses expeditious retreat or similar to move faster gains a similar benefit.

The competitor with the least 'actions' at the end won the race. It worked really well.

You could also add in something like a landslide triggered somehow...? e.g. Roc
comes back whilst players are climbing & drops a rock. If it hits a PC all good,
if not it could start a somewhat inconvenient landslide...

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Knicknevin wrote:
We're not going with Pathfinder rules though as my group prefer the Savage Worlds system.

That is a cool idea - I'm going to be swapping away from running PF after

this KM AP - & SW is going to be the next game I run. :)

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
That's pretty perfect actually. Plus it gives your castle that creepy vibe.

Yeah - but it'd make it a she'ite place to live... ;-p

To be honest - I can't see the Sowrdlords letting your party get away with it.
To have their names associated with a bunch of rampant homicidal maniacs? I
very much doubt it. If I were the Swordlords, I'd pay to have your party 'put

That being the case - you're going to have to do some MAJOR story revision. Yes,
you can still run it - there are even other threads discussing how to do it with
an evil party.

Search & you shall find.

Heh - my own game's party deaths have ALL been from tacked on material.
Let's face it, much of what's on these boards falls into that category...

Chuckbab wrote:

Something more action-oriented (or at least, confrontation-oriented) may be better, but I guess it's too late to have the first skirmishes of civil war happening (and I want the Issian nobles to take part in the proposals to invest in the colony).

Any idea for a change of pace while still staying in Restov?

If you're not keen on Pennywit's excellent portrayal of wedding shenanigans,

then how about making something of that which you've mentioned above?

You mention overt actions between the civil war protagonists...but what
about 'covert' actions? The PCs could be caught up in some sort of
assassination attempt? If you want to spice it up, it might be hard to
decide which side to come in on...
e.g. the person to be killed may be a Swordlord, but not be a very nice
person... Or, the person to be killed could be an Issian, but one who is
offering to sponsor the nascent kingdom...

Speaking of which - the AP as written has the PCs setting things up without
the knowledge of the Issians. I'd be interested to hear what angle you're
playing to change the story around that.

I did something similar for a start - but on a much smaller scale...
i.e. printed out the A4 map & laminated it, then applied hexes over the top
which had a line drawn map of the area that was slightly incorrect...that way
the players knew what kind of terrain they were heading into, but sometimes
the details were a bit different.
Hopefully that way they felt like they were proper (h)explorers ;-p & mappers.

The good thing about the laminated method, is that using different permanent
markers, you can draw on borders, farms, make notes etc...

Artemis & Orthos - thanks to you both for your kind words...
I must say that if this is the result of writing when I'm really, really tired -
Perhaps I ought to do it again... ;-p

I only hope that it helps the OP.

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ElterAgo wrote:
Also most of the people that I know that are really into steam punk all insists that it does follow real world rules.

Honestly - herein, I think, lies perhaps one of the issues... Are the

people you refer to engineers like yourself - or just 'fans' of the genre?
If the first - then perhaps you may need to check their credentials...
If the second - honestly, really? They don't know what they're talking
about...and you're right to be concerned.

Something that was mentioned higher up the thread, but wasn't really
focused upon, is something that may (or it may not) help you.
Steampunk is thematically based upon a Victorian level of scientific
understanding. This is not to say this stuff works, but at the time
that scientists were postulating that these things 'must' be how 'xyz'
worked. A good example would be the aether. Some really believed in it
back then, but quite obviously it has long since been disproved.

Steampunk of today takes those beliefs of a bygone era, & expands upon
them in a 'what if' fashion. What if those things actually did work.
(Yes, we know they don't Mr Engineer...but what if?) :)

I think for you to understand this, all that is required is a suspension
of disbelief. (Isn't it always!)
NO!!! Not disbelief of the science involved, but disbelief of who &
where you are sir!! (my assumption, but fit's thematically with a rant
from a Steampunk era!)
To appreciate Steampunk - you need to think like someone from those
times...and you seem to be failing in that respect.

In closing, I honestly don't see any difference between that or fantasy.
If playing/reading/watching fantasy & loving it, you need to be able
to place yourself in that realm. e.g. one in a place far, far away...
Oh - sorry, slipped between my fantasies for a moment... ;-p

General rules are that only the best suit of armour would apply, but I'd expect that all of the penalties would apply. ACP, Spell failure etc...

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